Summer soccer tournaments in the Puget Sound region provide a great opportunity for youth soccer players to hone their skills against some of the best teams in the area. Traveling for tournaments can be a daunting task for young players, so here are some helpful tips to get youth soccer players focused and prepared for the drive and the long days of playing in summer tournaments:
What to Do in the Car: Many trips to soccer tournaments involve hours of driving in a car, so it’s important to keep your players entertained as well as focused on the task ahead. Try having your player watch soccer-themed movies or shows on the road. Help keep them in the zone with a show like Save Our Squad with David Beckham on Disney+ or the movie Back of the Net on Netflix.
What to Wear: Headbands or bandanas can keep players comfortable and protected from the sun’s rays during long matches. Try soaking bandanas in cold water then tying it around the player's head or neck to provide some cool relief. And don't forget the sunscreen. Apply to faces, legs, and arms but don't forget their ears, scalp, and neck, as recommended by the CDC.
What to Eat: It’s important to pack snacks that will give players the energy boost they need to keep up their stamina on the field. Some of the best foods to pack when traveling for soccer tournaments include trail mix with a mix of proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats. Apples, bananas, oranges, and watermelon are easy to eat on the go and include that necessary sugar to give players a boost along with some much-needed hydration. Bananas can also help prevent muscle cramps. Pack granola bars and applesauce pouches, or raisins for a bit of added iron.
How to Bond: Long trips to soccer tournaments can be a great time for players and their teammates to bond. Have players create a team playlist on Spotify where everyone can contribute. Explore the area and find an activity for players outside of soccer like bowling or mini golf. Or collect information from each of the players and set up a trivia game, asking questions like who has the youngest sibling or who wants to be a lawyer when they grow up. It's a great way for players to learn new and interesting things about their teammates!
By following these simple tips, youth soccer players in the Puget Sound region can be well prepared for their tournaments and have a successful and enjoyable experience while traveling. It’s important to keep players well-hydrated, comfortable, and entertained when traveling to summer tournaments for soccer. Providing water, sunscreen, bandanas, healthy snacks, and fun team activities can allow for effective bonding and delicious nutrition, while creating an atmosphere perfect for road trips.